Archive for thrash metal

Christian Thrash Metal Band….Temple of Blood

Posted in Christian, Christian Metal, classic metal, thrash metal, underground metal, US Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by Eric Stevens

Truthfully, there is only one band that comes to my mind when I think of Christian Metal, and it’s these guys. Most bands today that are labeled Christian metal are not even metal at all, but far from it. Such bands may be heavy, they may employ double bass drumming, or some metal style riffing. But they are not real metal bands at all, but instead, the bastard offspring of metal. Hell, even Stryper is more metal than a lot of these new bands, and Stryper sucks (not to mention they are not metal).

There have been other Christian metal bands in the past that have been decent, such as Deliverance and Believer, but those bands (to my knowledge) are not around anymore. There was also Barren Cross, but those guys seemed like such Iron Maiden rip-offs that I hesitate to give them much credit. Iron Maiden was and is a great band, but the problem with a lot of Christian bands in general is that they try to mimic what is popular, rather than being original. A lot of groups in the Christian music scene are just cookie cutter versions of secular bands with pop-Christianity sprinkled on top. Temple of Blood, however, is not really part of the Christian music scene, especially not the current “Christian metal” scene…they are just a bunch of guys playing the music they love, writing songs about what they believe. That, in my opinion, is what makes their music so noteworthy and sincere among the metal underground.

lineup from the last album, Overlord

So how would I describe the music of Temple of Blood? Top notch thrash metal, worthy of comparison with the best thrash metal bands out there. You can certainly hear influences such as Slayer, Forbidden, Annihilator, Helstar, and even Agent Steel in their music–which is characterized by ripping guitar solos, commanding vocals, and crushing (not to mention fast) drumming. On their latest release, Overlord (2008), they even tip their hat to thrash metal greats Forbidden by recording a cover of the song Forbidden Evil. Forbidden Evil was a favorite album of mine growing up, so it was awesome to hear these guys cover their music–and they do it well.

Temple of Blood currently has two albums under their belt, but the band has recently parted ways with guitarist Jim Lewis. Hopefully this won’t deter these guys from writing new music…because the metal world needs more bands like them. There are so many bands out there who simply do not know how to be original and choose to play a form of metal because it is cool, not because they really believe in it. These guys believe in it, however. And they also believe Jesus is the son of God. Weird huh? They are certainly not afraid to let their beliefs come through in their lyrics. From songs about the final Judgment to songs of redemption, these guys don’t pull any punches. The song Fearsome Warrior, on their latest album, retells the Old Testament story of Samson and his struggles against the Philistines, culminating in Samson bringing the roof down on his own and three thousand Philistines’ heads.
I have always thought that some of the Old Testament stories would make for good metal lyrics, and its good to see that these guys thought so too.

Even if you feel a bit skeptical upon hearing that these guys are Christians, do yourself a favor and check out their music. They are the real deal, and it is obvious that they are genuine fans of metal, rather than simply playing metal only as a means to an end–as a way of converting the unbelieving masses, for example. On their first album, they do a cover of the song “Deliver Us From Evil,” by Deadly Blessing. And even better–they get the singer from Deadly Blessing to appear on the song!!! This is certainly a treat for die hard metal fans who are familiar with Deadly Blessing, who are underground cult metal legends. Check out both of their albums if you can…and do yourself a favor and order their latest album, Overlord, while there are still copies available.

You can check out samples of their music on the Temple of Blood Myspace page as well.

Metal in Savannah!

Posted in underground metal with tags , , , on February 26, 2010 by Eric Stevens

Last night I checked out Skeleton Witch in concert here at the Jinx, located downtown Savannah. I had listened to them on their Myspace, so I knew they were pretty good. Musically, they remind me of old school thrash akin to Exodus and Testament, with maybe a little Destruction thrown in the mix. Vocally, however, they were more death/black metal influenced, with the singer reminding me a little of Abbath from Immortal. Very good show. Outstanding show, both for the band and for the crowd…I really couldn’t believe the turnout and the crowd response considering this was a metal show. By the end of Skeleton Witch’s set, everyone had their fists raised in the air in agreement–so much energy in the place. At one point, the singer asked the crowd “I just wanna know….is Savannah still considered part of the Bible Belt?” Very good question indeed–metal has not always gotten a great reception in the Southeast United States, but it is certainly encouraging to see that there is hope.

Another surprising highlight of the show were Texas metallers, Iron Age. I had a feeling they might be good since the singer had a Candlemass shirt on…good influences usually make for good music. And they didn’t disappoint. They also had an old school metal sound, reminding me at times of Kill ’em All era Metallica, Possessed, Death, and some other earlier bands with a thrash metal/early black metal sound almost. And they actually sounded better live than they do on their Myspace page. At times, the vocals on their recorded material remind me of Chuck Schuldiner from Death, especially on the song “The Way is Narrow.” Live, however, I guess he still sounded a bit like Schuldiner, but his vocals were way more piercing…bordering on Black Metal vocals almost–like maybe Chuck Shuldiner meets the singer of Possessed. Tremendous stage presence. At one point it looked like the guitarist did a sign of a cross with his guitar…and looking at their song titles (“The Way is Narrow,” “777,” “We’re Dust,” “A Younger Earth”?) I couldn’t help but wonder if they were a Christian band. Regardless of whether this is the case, they rocked just as hard as any other metal band…if not harder.  It would be funny if this were the case, with the comment that Skeleton Witch’s singer made about the Bible Belt…plus some guy in the crowd kept yelling “hail Satan”…apparently he was a big fan.  I don’t know if that was a complement to either band’s playing, however, since neither of them were Satan.  This guy definitely seemed to be more excited about Satan than Skeleton Witch or Iron Age, since he kept saying it over and over.

Anyway, tremendous sets by Iron Age and Skeleton Witch, tremendous show. Skeleton Witch and Iron Age were the real deal.  There was another band that opened, called Howl, but they played sludge metal, something I’m not a big fan of.  Plus, the other two bands were just way better.  I still cannot get over the idea that we actually had some metal bands come to Savannah…for a night, stepping into the Jinx actually felt like being in another country, or stepping into a time warp–it just seemed so strange to be attending a metal show in Savannah, where people were dressed in leather and spikes and had their jackets with patches of bands’ logos all over them, and people wearing Candlemass t-shirts.  A glorious night indeed.

Maybe they’ll come back around again…and maybe we’ll actually start getting some other metal bands to play here.